Lesson from “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.” Watch out for greed!

The third installment of “The Hobbit” was a fun movie.

It was the best of the three “Hobbit” films. How can you not enjoy Legolas riding a bat, a troll, and magically “Mario-ing” falling stones (if you saw the movie you would understand).

The primary plot was centered around Thorin the king of the dwarves and his battle against greed.

Once Thorin got the treasure, it changed him.  He stopped caring about anyone but himself. He became mad with power, broke his promises and was even willing to start an unnecessary war to save his “precious” treasure.

Greed is a very real problem in all facets of our world.

  • Because of greed, corporations are willing to treat employees unfairly.
  • Because of greed, drug trade and sex trafficking exists.
  • Because of greed, counties go to war over natural resources.
  • Because of greed, families are torn apart fighting over money issues.

Jesus wisely warned us to guard against greed of all types.

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15

The best things in life really are free!

Money can’t buy you love, friendship, family, or faith. You can’t measure the quality of your life by the quantity of your money. Many rich people are depressed and many people with modest means are happy. One of the quickest ways to shipwreck your faith is when “the desire to acquire goes haywire.”(Ed Young Jr).

Bilbo Baggins was the one to remind Thorin what really matters in life.

Bilbo Baggins chose peace over profit and honor over hoarding. We should do the same. Contentment is a key attitude in the Bible as well. Paul instructs us.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Tim 6:6-8

Contentment is the key to true riches.

If we have food, clothing and a warm bed we should be content. We should focus on loving others and using things and not loving things and using people.

Thorin on the other hand was caught in the treasure trap Paul warns us about.

“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of moneyis a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faithand pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Tim 6:9-10

Greed leads only to grief.

Loving money more than you love God and others will end up ruining your life. It will ruin your relationships and cause you to do many evil things.

Fortunately Thorin realizes the folly of his ways and ends his life honorably. Instead of trusting his treasure he fought for what is right. Paul tells us,

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds,and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1 Tim 6:17-19

True life comes when you give it away.

It is easy for the rich to become arrogant but we must not hope in our money. God is the one we must trust with our lives, not our money. The best way to break the back of greed in our lives is to give generously.  Thorin found true life only when he was wiling to give it away.

As he was dying, Thorin told Biblo, “the world would be a better place if  there were more people you, who long for home more than they long for treasure.”

Are you content with what you have? Or are you driven by greed?

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